Posted by: lindsaygoes | April 11, 2011

Here and there in Switzerland

So after exploring Frankfurt I met up with my mum. We were meeting at the station and then caught a train to Basel. Well, Basel Badischer Bahnhof, the main German station. It took us a little while to work out that we needed to go to Basel SBB, the main station, in Switzerland, and then catch another train to Mulhouse, where we were staying for the night. We thought it was just out of Basel, but the train kept going, and going, and going. Mulhouse isn’t even in the same country. So we spent the afternoon in Mulhouse, explored the town a little, and missed out on Basel.

The next day we headed to Montreux (in Switzerland this time), on the Swiss Riviera. We went to Chillon Castle, which apparently mum had visited before, but had forgotten. It was a gorgeous castle, right on the lake. We had fun exploring all the different levels, and it wasn’t overcrowded which was nice. We had a lovely walk back along the lake, it was stunning with all the flowers blooming!

In the morning, we caught the Golden Pass train to Interlaken, which had spectacular scenery. We were really lucky with the weather the whole time we were in Switzerland, I think I even got a bit of a tan! From Interlaken we went to Lauterbrunnen, a little town in a valley of the Bernese Alps, which was apparently the model for Rivendell for all of you Lord of the Rings fans. The valley was full of waterfalls, and we went for a walk to Trumellbach falls, which are glacier water falls inside the mountain. We thought they sounded lovely, but would have enjoyed it more if they had been open. Apparently they opened for the year a few days after we’d left.

The following day we caught a cable car, a train and two more cable cars (one of which is the longest in the world I think) to get to the top of Schilthorn where we had some amazing views over the Bernese Alps, and we had a hot chocolate in a revolving restaurant which was in one of the James Bond films (I seem to be accidentally be visiting James Bond film locations on my travels). It was amazing, we were there almost in t-shirts, surrounded by people in full ski gear! After that we headed back down the mountain and went to Interlaken to have a walk around. A lovely town, and even warmer once we were off the mountains, mum had to buy some t-shirts because she had mainly brought winter clothes.

The next day we had another amazing train journey from Interlaken to Lucern and then had an explore of Lucern. We were staying in the center of the old town, in an Egyptian themed room, and from our room we had a view of a lovely square and a clock tower (although you had to ignore the large crane in the middle of the square, but it did make it easy for us to work out the direction of our hotel when we wanted to get back to it). We had a very nice walk around the town, which was a wonderful place to get lost in. That night however, we realised that having your window overlooking a clock tower is not the best idea. It tolled every quarter hour, with extra noisy bells on the hour. All…night…long.

So after a night of interrupted sleep, we had a long walk along Lake Lucern, with the mountains just identifiable through the mist in the distance, and also along the Musegg Walls (the old city walls, built in 1386). We also saw an alpaca and I got to amuse my mum with alpaca facts (anyone want to hear them?). We then sat in the sun to have some lunch, and then had a cruise on the lake, which was so nice my mum wanted to go again. It really was lovely sitting in the sun, having an ice-cream, with a cool breeze from the lake.

After another night near the bell tower we had a short trip from Lucerne to Zurich (leaving just before the Lucerne Festival, which looked like fun). Our hotel this time was in a nice quiet spot, which was a relief. We got a bit lost walking around Zurich, but that’s all part of the fun, and there are some lovely areas with the old town and a number of churches. We interrupted our walk with another lake cruise, because they’re always fun and a chance to rest your feet and then continued around Zurich.

The following day we made a spontaneous decision to go to Schaffhausen, and see the Rhine Falls, Europe’s largest waterfall. They were wonderful, but I suspect there is a reason why Europe isn’t known for its waterfalls. We got a little train, which we thought would go to touristy spots, but it just went to the railway station and back. After visiting the Rhine Falls, we headed back to Schaffhausen, which is a lovely old town. Even though it’s quite small, we did manage to get lost, but made up for it with ice-cream, and then visited the Munot, a 16th century fortification, which was amazingly cool inside.

Then today I headed back to the UK. But don’t worry, there are more travel adventures to come.

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